Yes, it is I; the one with the blog post titles that never really make much sense. But let me assure you then when you are done reading this post that you will come to full comprehension as to why I have opted for this heading.
As I do, I stumbled upon a recipe for a Caramel Apple cake and the writer waxed lyrical about the amazing flavours in the cake and how it was the best thing since this, that and the other......I just rolled my eyes and said to myself "yeah right". Then I did some more research and found other blogs where this recipe had been made in one form or shape or the other. Yet again more lyrics, more swooning and more attestations as to the wonder of this cake.
At this point I had had enough! It's just cake! A really tall cake for goodness sake!!! Or is it?......hmmmmm let's just say that I can feel a sonnet coming on!!!
This cake is ethereal! Yes I said it! Every single human being who put this cake in their mouth was astounded by the delicate texture and amazing flavour profile. Mind you, the recipe I adapted calls for a dense heavier cake but I switched things up a bit.
This cake started it's journey into existences a day before Good Friday and has since sojourned from my home in Nigeria to homes in the United Kingdom!
If you ever plan to make this cake, you can't decide to do so on a whim. It must be a conscious, deliberate decision. It took the better part of two days to put it all together and it was ready just in time for the beginning of the Easter festivities and on Good Friday we cut it.
The star elements of the cake are the apple sauce and the caramel butter cream. If you are making these from scratch, like I did, then you need some time to prep them individually before using them in the cake. So without further ado; here goes!
CARAMEL APPLE CAKE
For The Applesauce
8 medium Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices
1 cup Apple cider vinegar ( you could use apple juice or apple cider and cut down the brown sugar to 1/2 cup)
Juice Of 1 Lemon
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
The "How To"
Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender and broken up. This could take anywhere from 20 - 25 minutes depending on the type of apples you use.
Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree to consistency of your choice. I made mine to be quite smooth. Remember that it is still hot some be careful at this stage.
Let it come to room temperature before storing in closed container the fridge.
For The Apple Cake
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
340 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 medium eggs
3 cups homemade applesauce (see recipe above) (if you can't be bothered with the hassle then by all means use a store-bought unsweetened applesauce)
3/4 cup milk (skip this if you would prefer a denser cake)
The "How To"
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper, and the. butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess flour: set the pans aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together into a large bowl and set aside.
Place the butter in a bowl and beat until creamy using an electric whisk or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer for about about 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy for another 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined.
Then add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl in three parts, alternating with the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack, remove the parchment, and let cool completely.
Phew! We're almost there. This labour is worth it I promise!
For The Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
110 grams of butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 ½ cups heavy cream
In a medium saucepan with high sides, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water. Stir the mixture gently so you don’t splash any of it up the sides of the pan (this will cause sugar crystals to form and you do to want that trust me). Turn the heat to medium-high and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, stop stirring, and allow the mixture to boil. Once it begins to turn a rich caramel color remove it from the heat, add the butter and cream, and stir until combined. Please be careful, because when you add the cream and butter it will bubble up and it is extremely HOT!!
For the Caramel Butter Cream
1½ cups sugar
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
340 grams unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Classic Caramel Sauce (see recipe above), at room temperature
The "How To"
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using and electric whisk beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and vanilla; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Then add 1⁄3 cup of the caramel and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.
Surprisingly, the entire process wasn't as messy as I had anticipated! Yay! For butter cream...........errrrrrrrrr emmmmmmm in moderation of course........ahem!?
Now to make the magic happen! Putting the cake all together!
Place one of the cake layers on the cake base and level off the top; mine bake relatively flat so I didn't bother to level. Put a thin layer of caramel sauce on the layers and then spread caramel buttercream on top. Next, add another layer of cake and level and frost as you did with the first layer. Trim the top of the last layer and then place it on top of the cake bottom side up.
Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the entire cake (crumb coat) and place the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the cake from the fridge and use the remaining frosting to ice the top and sides.
Add toasted flaked almonds or chopped peanuts.
Peanuts are traditionally used when making caramel apples but I preferred the mild nuttiness of the toasted almonds on this occassion. Carefully drizzle the caramel over the cake, slice and enjoy. It might be easier to slice the cake when it's been chilled for a few minute in the fridge.
I have tried to add as a any photos I can that will allow you experience this baked awesomeness electronically ?. You can thank me later?
I was inspired by a combo of the following blogs